Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz says Canada is ready to impose up to $1 billion in sanctions against the U.S. unless it complies with the WTO
Washington, D.C. – Canada is ready to consider all of its options, including sanctions against the U.S., if the meat labelling issue isn’t resolved.
On a trade mission in the U.S., Gerry Ritz, Canada’s Agriculture minister, advocated for measures that would bring the U.S. into full compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations on the mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).
Canada is prepared to impose sanctions of almost $1 billion a year against the U.S. unless it complies with the WTO and redesigns its meat labels, reports Reuters.com.
Ritz met with his counterpart Tom Vilsack, who is the U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary, and expressed Canada’s strong disappointment with the proposed COOL regulatory changes the U.S. put forward in March.
In March, the USDA issued a proposed rule to modify certain areas of its COOL program.
Under the USDA’s proposal, beef and pork packages imported into the U.S. from other countries would have to say where that animal was born, raised and slaughtered. Other packaging restrictions would apply as well.
Ritz underlined that those proposed changes will not bring the U.S. into compliance with its WTO obligations and will further increase discrimination against exports of cattle and hogs from Canada, increasing damages to the Canadian industry.